CUI & Power-One Among Biggest Newsmakers At Digital Power Forum

September 23, 2009 by Jeff Shepard

CUI Inc. and Power-One Inc. created quite a buzz at the Digital Power Forum (DPF) ‘09 in Santa Ana, California, held from September 21 - 23rd. The companies first announced a licensing agreement in relation to a new CUI product release, and then Power-One’s Executive VP & IP Manager, Dennis Roark, made a statement during a roundtable discussion that Power-One had never intended to do anything more than assert its patent claims. He also stated the company is willing and open to discuss licensing agreements with other companies.

Power-One had previously won a lawsuit against customers of Artesyn (which is now part of Emerson Network Power) for infringing its patents by using PMBus. However, Power-One had since signed a licensing agreement in late July with Powervation under Power-One’s digital power technology patents. The announcement at DPF from Power-One and CUI seems to be marking the move of Power-One to license its IP to PMBus POL module manufacturers.

CUI Inc’s power division V-Infinity announced that it is developing a line of digital point-of-load (POL) modules that will utilize Powervation Ltd.’s digital power-conversion ICs. The new Novum series modules will combine high power density in a compact footprint and offer a wide array of digital control and power management functions. It will utilize Powervation’s patented Auto-control™ technology which will allow the new modules to work in real time ensuring stability and improved transient responsiveness.

The Novum modules will operate off a 12V nominal input and come in 12 and 25A configurations. Output voltages will be programmable and will utilize standard PMBus commands for configuring and monitoring. A wide array of digital power control functions will be supported including current monitoring, temp sensing, margining and voltage sequencing. The Novum series is being developed for a board design engineer to realize better energy efficiencies and improved time to market compared to the traditional analog approach through design flexibility and system optimization.

"The Novum series will be the first in a line of fully licensed digital products designed to meet the growing customer trend towards digital power," stated Jeff Schnabel, CUI’s VP of Marketing. "We are excited about entering a market with products that will be able to take full advantage of the benefits of digital power in a platform that is simple for the designer to implement in their system."

Novum series samples will be available for select OEM customers in Q4.